Lately I’ve noticed that after my morning walk or shopping trip to the mall I run out of gas. Am I succumbing to advanced years? Is it a malady of seniors? I was about to make an appointment at the renowned Cleveland Clinic when I found my answer in the morning paper. It has nothing to do with aging! The whole world is running out of gas.
That being the case there must be some experts working on solving the energy crisis. Lo and behold there is no dearth of experts and countless solutions abound. My lack of energy is no small problem to me so I eagerly sought out a solution that might work for me.
As oil gets scarce it has been proposed that harnessing wind power will cut down on oil consumption. So off I went on my walk with one of those beanie caps with a propeller on top . Sure enough if I went into a trot the propeller started to turn. Problem - at my age a trot is not an option and in spite of the wind power I ran out of gas after trotting one hundred yards.
Solar energy has also been proposed as a solution to the energy crisis. I removed some solar cells from the outdoor light fixtures and mounted them on a plate. My thought was that as I walked with the solar panel held close to me, my body would absorb solar energy. No way , this is Northeast Ohio and sunny mornings are rare. All that I accomplished was to become exhausted carrying a solar panel.
I said that there were countless proposals for alleviating the energy crisis. An intriguing one involves the use of hydrogen gas to run our cars. Would a change to a gassy diet provide the energy I was seeking? I went on a diet of beans, prunes and cabbage. One week into my diet gas generation was at its peak. Yes indeed, one mile into my walk there was an eruption of gaseous energy. I made an abrupt turn, sprang into a trot and raced for home. Just made it, but the whole ordeal unnerved me. It wasn’t the kind of energy I was looking for so I went back to my normal diet.
Obviously the solutions I experimented with were not meant for the human body. I was about to give up but I perked up when I read about ethanol and how renewable energy sources would be our salvation. I didn’t see how it could do anything for my energy level but then again not worrying about where my next tank of gas might be coming from might be just the medicine to rev up my engine. As I read more about ethanol I found that ethanol fuel production depends on availability of land area, soil, water and sunlight. I was shocked to learn that ethanol contains about thirty-four per cent less energy than gasoline. In other words my fuel efficient Toyota would become an ethanol guzzler. It’s a vicious circle. Everything has its price. Ethanol will reduce our dependence on foreign oil but we’ll need more gallons of ethanol versus gasoline to satisfy our energy needs. This in turn will kick in the law of supply and demand. As the demand for ethanol increases, more land will be devoted to raising crops for ethanol production rather than for food. If the food supply diminishes, food prices must go up. After all if chickens and cows eat expensive corn then we will eat expensive chickens, eggs and beef. If that’s not bad enough, we may have to import corn in order to satisfy our demand for ethanol. Looks like we’re back where we started, depending on foreign products for our energy needs.
The bottom line is that rising food prices will mean a change in my diet which could very well result in a lower energy level. I decided to go ahead with my original plan and make an appointment at the Cleveland Clinic - not Internal Medicine but the Psychiatric Department. This quest for energy is driving me nuts!